Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just revealed they’re planning to take a ‘step back’ from the royal family and split time between the UK and North America. Here’s where all the most prominent royals live.

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Alamy/Business Insider; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left Kensington Palace for the privacy of Frogmore Cottage in early 2019. Now, they’re stepping back from their “senior” royal roles altogether, and planning to split time between the UK and North America.

The announcement, made on Wednesday, comes after months of speculation that the couple has been distancing themselves from the royal family.

Many members of the royal family live within a mile of each other. Kensington Palace, a royal residence since the 1600s, is easily the most bustling of the royal family’s many grand homes.

Here’s a look at where the most prominent royals live.


Kensington Palace is home to many members of the royal family.

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Getty Images

Within its grounds are a host of separate properties, ranging from relatively humble cottages, to the grand 20-room apartment occupied by Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their young family.


As well as royal living quarters, which tend to be modestly decorated, it is also home to lavish state rooms used for grand occasions, like this one:

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Getty Images

One of Kensington Palace’s many grand interior rooms, which are occasionally opened to the public, is pictured above.


Harry and Meghan left Nottingham Cottage for Frogmore Cottage.

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BBC News

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lived in two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage on the palace grounds before they got married on May 19, 2018, and came back two days after the ceremony to make it their marital home.

The cottage, nicknamed “Nott Cott” and often described as “snug,” was Harry’s home since 2013.

Meghan moved in just after their engagement was made public in November 2017. Harry proposed to Meghan when they were spending an evening together at Nottingham Cottage, surprising her while they were roasting a chicken.

After announcing their engagement, they gave an interview from the cottage, sitting on its sofa, which is one of the only times the public has seen inside.

They left Kensington Palace behind in early 2019 before they welcomed baby Archie and moved into Frogmore Cottage. It’s not known who (if anyone) has moved into Nott Cott since their departure.


The Duke of Gloucester and Duchess of Gloucester left Apartment 1.

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The Duchess and Duke of Gloucester in 2016.
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Getty Images

The Duke of Gloucester, one of Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins, and his wife, the Duchess of Gloucester, were the last to reside in Apartment 1. They have called the apartment home since 1972. The Sun had previously reported that the couple offered to vacate the property to make way for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, though this plan did not come to fruition in light of their move to Windsor.

Moving vans were spotted outside of Kensington Palace and are reportedly going to relocate the Duke and Duchess to the Old Stables, a smaller residence on Kensington Palace grounds. The Old Stables recently received a $493,000 renovation in preparation for the move.

Apartment 1 is a large complex of rooms in the main palace building, much like like William and Kate’s home at 1A. The two used to be one enormous set of rooms until they were divided in the 1950s.

The complex has 21 rooms, slightly topping the size of William and Kate’s, but few details are available other than its overall size.

A palace spokesperson told Hello! Magazine in June that the decision regarding who would move in to the residence had “not yet been finalized.”


Here’s a breakdown of who is left, and where they live in Kensington Palace.


Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis: Apartment 1A

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Getty Images

William, Kate, and their children are not only the largest group of royals in Kensington Palace but the closest to the throne.

The family of five occupies Apartment 1A, a collection of 20 stately rooms with a commanding view of Hyde Park.

They moved to Kensington Palace full time in October 2013, not long after their first child, Prince George, was born. Princess Charlotte followed in 2015, and Prince Louis in April 2018.

The public rarely get to see inside, but photographers were allowed to take photos of a reception room when William and Kate hosted the Obamas in 2016.


We also saw another view (or maybe even another room) where Prince George played on a rocking horse before meeting the US president.

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Getty Images

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank: Ivy Cottage

The newest royals at Kensington Palace are Princess Eugenie, who is William’s and Harry’s cousin, and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, a London socialite.

According to The Sun, the couple moved into a cottage right next to Harry and Meghan’s former abode at about the same time Kate was in the hospital delivering Prince Louis.

The couple announced their engagement in January, a few weeks after getting engaged while vacationing in Nicaragua.

They got married at Windsor Castle in the same chapel as Harry and Meghan on October 12, 2018, but the occasion attracted less publicity.

Princess Eugenie’s sister, Princess Beatrice, recently got engaged to a property tycoon descended from Italian aristocracy, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. It is unclear where they will reside once they’re married and where they live now (whether separately or together).


Prince and Princess Michael of Kent: Apartment 10

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Prince and Princess Michael of Kent in 2016.
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Getty Images

Prince Michael of Kent, another of the queen’s cousins but from a more junior line, lives in the main palace building with his wife.

She is known as Princess Michael, in the old-fashioned tradition by which the wives of princes take their husband’s name.

This same rule means that Kate can technically be referred to as Princess William of Cambridge, and Meghan as Princess Henry of Wales, but the names are not widely used.

Their apartment consists of five bedrooms and five receptions rooms. They used to have use of the property rent-free, but since 2008 they have been paying a reported £10,000 ($13,600) per month in rent.


The Duke and Duchess of Kent: Wren House

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The Duke and Duchess of Kent in 2014.
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Getty Images

The Duke of Kent, Prince Michael’s older brother, also lives within the Kensington Palace grounds with his wife, the Duchess.

Their home, Wren House, is named after the famous British architect Christopher Wren, who built St Paul’s Cathedral and several properties for the royal household.

Few details about their home have ever been made public. It is physically between Ivy and Nottingham cottages and appears to be of a similar size.


But what about the queen and Prince Philip?

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Reuters

England’s reigning monarch doesn’t actually live at Kensington Palace, where many of the other prominent royals reside. Queen Elizabeth II lives at Buckingham Palace, a 775-room royal residence, with her husband, Prince Philip. The two celebrated 72 years of marriage recently.


Buckingham Palace is where the Trooping the Colour Ceremony takes place each year.

The ceremony, to mark the “official birthday of the Sovereign” (not the Queen’s actual birthday), is a major photo op for the royal family every year.


Buckingham Palace is about two miles away from Kensington Palace, across Hyde Park and Green Park.

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Google Maps

So if Her Majesty ever wants to drop in on her cousins, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, they aren’t far away.


Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, don’t live at either Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace, but at nearby Clarence House.

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Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Clarence House was built between 1825 and 1827 for Prince William Henry, the Duke of Clarence. Today, it serves as the official London residence of Prince Charles and Camilla. The Queen Mother (Elizabeth II’s mother and Charles’ grandmother) also lived at Clarence House, from the time Elizabeth II took the thrown until the Queen Mother’s death in 2002.


Further details about where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will live next are unknown.

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Steve Parsons / Getty

Their announcement regarding the decision to “step back” from the royal family noted that they intend to split time between the UK and North America and “become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.” It’s unclear, as of yet, whether that means they will maintain their current residence at Frogmore Cottage.

The statement concluded that the couple is “looking forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course.”